Minerals From A to Z – What You Need To Know About Basic Minerals – Part I

minerals from A to Z – what you need to know about basic minerals – part I

Minerals are of immense importance for our physical and mental life. Given the fact that the body does not produce some minerals or does not have it in the proper amount, it is important to know how to regulate and balance the daily amount of the minerals with certain food. Lack of minerals can result in different physical and mental disorders and illnesses.

The adage “better safe than sorry” should come as a motive for every one of us. These minerals and the food containing them are crucial for our body and soul.


Why Do We Need Calcium?

The key mineral for strong and healthy bones is calcium (Ca). Lack of this mineral results in preparing a solid ground for many different bone illnesses; osteoporosis being the most common among them. Calcium is a material used in mineralization of bones and teeth. Its importance is also recognized in the role it plays in blood flow and in the release of enzymes and hormones.

You can find calcium in various foods, for instance, milk, cheese, yogurt, fish, dried fruits, soy, pasta, and bread.

What You Need To Know About Basic Minerals

The daily amount of calcium does depend on your age. Children between 4 and 8 years old should take 700 milligrams and teens between 14 and 18 years old should take 1.300 mg. Adult women from 51 – 70 should take 1.200, whereas adult men of the same age should take 100 mg.  A glass of yogurt or 2 deciliters of milk contains 700 mg of calcium.

There are certain groups of people who need to pay special attention to the intake of calcium:

  • People with lactose intolerance
  • Vegans and Ovo vegetarians
  • Postmenopausal women
  • Women of childbearing age


Where Can You Find Magnesium?

Magnesium (Mg) is important for more than three hundred reasons, that is, for more than three hundred chemical reactions in the body. Most of the people are familiar with its impact on the nervous and immune system. Along with calcium, magnesium is also important for our bone density. The fact that 50 percent of magnesium is found in our bones while the other half is found in the organ tissue and cells, magnesium should gain more popularity and promotion.

Its role is also to keep the rhythm of the heart steady and to regulate the blood sugar level and blood pressure.  Its benefits for our organism vary being one of the minerals responsible also for protein synthesis and metabolism in general.

Many foods that we use on a daily bases are rich in magnesium. First, there are green vegetables and legumes. For instance, ½ of either frozen or cooked spinach provides 78 mg of magnesium, ½ cup of pinto cooked beans provide 43 mg, while 1/2 cup of cooked black eye peas provides 46 mg. Nuts and seeds are rich in magnesium as well. One ounce of dry-roasted mixed nuts provides 64 milligrams of magnesium.

leafy greens vegetables - where can you find magnesium

The daily value of magnesium is 400 mg, although some nutritionists advice differently. On a daily base for a man, it is recommended to take 300 mg of magnesium while for women only 270 milligrams.

You can meet the level of magnesium just by preparing healthy and strong breakfast. Have one medium banana (32 mg), one cup of low-fat chocolate milk (33), two pieces of integral bread (30) with two tablespoons of smooth peanut butter (49). Sweeten it with 1.5 ounces of milk chocolate candy bar (28 mg).  Later, strengthen your organism with mixed nuts or almonds.


How Important Is Potassium?

This chemical element is mandatory for all living beings, in particular, necessary for the function of the living cells. Being a key mechanism in nerve transmission, it is also important for many functions of the cardiac system. It is documented that potassium (K) is the eighth most common element in the human body – a person that weighs 60 kilograms contains 120 grams of potassium. Without potassium, many functions of the heart and muscles would be in danger.

One can find potassium in orange juice, pumpkin, bananas, peach, kiwi, tomatoes and tomato paste, potatoes, and soybeans. There are those who use potassium chloride as a substitute for table salt to control hypertension.

how important Is potassium

The recommended daily amount of potassium for adults is up to 3.500 milligrams, while children should not take more than 2.000 mg.  A piece of grilled chicken or fish, with potatoes and two tomatoes are meeting the daily amount criteria.


What Can You Expect From Phosphorus?

Like calcium, phosphorus (P) is also responsible for bone density and strength. This non-metal exists in two major forms – white and red but it is never found as a free element on Earth. The name phosphorus is from Greek mythology, and it means “light-bearer” referring to the Venus, the “morning star”. Phosphorus is the essence of life. It is a component of DNA, RNA, ATP, and the phospholipids.  Phospholipids form all cell membranes.

The foods that contain phosphorus are those that contain proteins. One can find phosphorus in eggs, meat, fish, integral cereals, dairy products and walnuts.

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The daily amount of phosphorus for both men and women is 550 milligrams. For instance, 100 grams of barbecued chicken breast and two pieces of integral bread is the meal one need to satisfy this daily value.


How Beneficial Is Sodium?

Sodium (Na) regulates the blood volume, blood pressure, osmotic equilibrium and pH.  It has a significant influence on the clarity of all our senses. It is crucial for neuron function and the regulation between cells and the extracellular fluid.

One can find sodium in eggs, meat, seafood, carrot, cauliflower, celery, and turnip. The daily amount of sodium is 500 milligrams, although most of the people use four times more than its optimum. One teaspoon of edible salt contains 2.000 milligrams (2 grams) of sodium.

how beneficial is sodium

Scientists noted that people, in general, consume 9 grams of salt every day and that they should experiment with other spices in order to reduce the amount of sodium, yet to keep the food tasty and delicious. Those spices can be a pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and basil.

You can continue reading about minerals (Part II) by clicking HERE!

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Last article update: 8/1/2019